Israeli military downs drone over Negev

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Air Force jets shot down a drone that entered Israeli airspace.

The unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean Saturday morning. It was intercepted and shot down over the northern Negev in an unpopulated area, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that the aircraft was identified before entering Israeli airspace and was downed in accordance with a decision of the IDF’s top leaders.

The drone flew over the Gaza Strip but did not originate from there, the IDF said. Israeli media reported that it could have originated in Lebanon, which has in previous years sent drones into Israeli airspace.

The UAV reportedly was not carrying explosives, and may have been a surveillance drone.

Israeli soldiers were searching for the debris in order to identify where the drone originated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night this praised the IDF. “We will continue to protect our land, sea and air borders on behalf of the citizens of Israel,” he said.

Click here for complete coverage on the 2012 elections from JTA.

Click to write a letter to the editor.